Welcome, Marilyn. It's always a pleasure to have you as my guest. I'm excited about your new Temple Crabtree Spirit Shapes.
Spirit Shapes is # 13 books in the Temple Crabtree
series. Did the number inspire you to give the book a ghostly theme?
To tell the truth, I had no idea what number the new
book would be in the series when I stared writing it. Since it is #13, I’m
going to take it as a good omen.
How did you develop your character Temple Crabtree? How
has she changed since the first book?
Tempe is a composite of three women I met. The first a
female police officer I did a ride-along with, who told me so much about her
life and her problems as the only woman on the force—as well as the problems
she faced in life. The second was
the female resident deputy who worked the area I lived in when we first moved
here. I interviewed her for a newspaper article and learned she had many of the
same challenges as the police officer. Around the same time, I met a lovely,
attractive Native American woman who grew up on the nearby reservation. I knew
that my Tempe would look like her and have the strong personality of all three
women, and have some of the same challenges in her job and life.
What other books or authors who write in the mystery genre
would you compare yours to?
Good question. I was inspired by Tony Hillerman’s
books though mine are quite different because they are based in the Southern
Sierra near California’s Central Valley and the Indians I write about face
totally different challenges. The
author who has inspired me in a whole other way is Mary Higgins Clark. She is
one of the most gracious authors I’ve ever met.
What inspires you to write?
As I’ve said many times, I have to write. For this
particular series, Tempe Crabtree, her husband, and the people who live in Bear
Creek seem real to me and I want to know what’s going to happen to them. The
only way to find that out is to write the next book.
Tell us about your perfect writing day.
No one calls me on the phone, no one comes into my office, I have
nothing pressing to do but write—I’ve never had one of those days. Fortunately,
because I wrote when I was raising five kids, babysitting grandkids, whenever I
had a free moment while going to school and working, I don’t have any problem
getting back to work after being interrupted.
Tell us about your marketing strategy.
I don’ t have an actual strategy. I sort of
concentrate on whatever is my latest book. For the latest in both series I’ve
done blog tours. In any contest, I never give away the book I’m promoting as
that defeats the purpose of interesting someone in buying the book. I usually
give away the one that came before it.
I do tons of online promotion and I have made many, many friends along
the way—how that relates to actual readers, I have no idea. I try new things I hear about, not all
of them work very well. I love
relating to people—and I enjoy them. I still do in-person events,
presentations, book and craft fairs. I try to go to at least one or two mystery
or writers conferences a year. (Doesn’t matter if I sell books, being around
other writers, talking writing, revs up my energy.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters
in a movie rendition?
I doubt that I would have a choice—but for the
Indians, I’d like them to find some Native American actors.
What do you want most for you readers to come away
with after they read your books?
I want them to have enjoyed
being with Deputy Tempe Crabtree as she solves whatever problems face her. And I want them to want to know what is
going to happen next with her in Bear Creek. I also want them to garner a bit
of knowledge about life today for the Native American—at least those that live
in the area where I live. And like
with any ethnic group, everyone is an individual with different wants and
You also write the Rocky Bluff series. How do you
balance your time, thoughts, and preparation for the two series?
I’m often working on both at
the same time—writing one, editing the other. It’s like putting on different
hats. One thing that helps is that each series is in a very different setting.
Tempe lives and works in and around a small town in the mountains. The Rocky
Bluff P.D. is in a small beach community in Southern California. The
surroundings, the people and the smells are all quite different.
What is next for Temple?
That I don’t know yet. I’m just starting to do some
research. I’m thinking more about the history of the local Indians and perhaps
some problems because of the casino.
Those are just some thoughts I’m tossing around. Whatever happens, Tempe
will be hunting for at least one murderer and will find herself in peril—it’s
Shapes: Ghost hunters stumble upon a murdered teen in a haunted house.
Deputy Tempe Crabtree's investigation pulls her into a whirlwind of restless
spirits, good and evil, intertwined with the past and the present, and demons
and angels at war.
Meredith is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award
winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. She borrows a lot from where she
lives in the Southern Sierra for the town of Bear Creek and the surrounding
area, including the nearby Tule River Indian Reservation. She does like to
remind everyone that she is writing fiction. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, three
chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of
the Public Safety Writers of America. Visit her at http://fictionforyou.com
and follow her blog at http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/
The person who comments on
the most blogs on this blog tour will have the opportunity to have a character
named after him or her in the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.
Also available directly from Amazon.
Labels: #mysteries #mysterseries